While the Silent Hill fandom, and indeed most of the horror gaming community, laments the loss of Silent Hills — not everyone is so bummed out about it. Norman Reedus, who was the intended star of the canceled game, reflects on the title with a surprisingly sour outlook. From a recent interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Reedus says:
“I was like, thank god that didn’t work because this is way better, [Death Stranding] is a completely different thing. I’ve really gotten to know the mind of Hideo a little bit. I like the fact that Silent Hills didn’t happen, to be honest, because I’ve gotten such a peek into the way he works and the way he thinks, and I’m completely blown away by this guy.”
He does say that he’s aware of how much people enjoyed it, saying he knows people with the P.T. demo downloaded onto their systems. He also reveals that, while he’s never played the P.T. demo (apparently he isn’t that big of a gamer) he finds what he’s seen of it terrifying. He also seems to barely even remember/know what it is, so that should be a good indicator of how involved he’d been in the project (referring to it as a “trailer” and “movie” and only really recalling the motion capture session for his brief moment on screen at the very end of the demo).
In the end, I can’t really say I blame him at all — P.T. and Silent Hills would’ve been an afternoon’s work for him almost 5 years ago now. He’s been in 5 more seasons of The Walking Dead, working on Death Stranding, and several voice roles in cartoons since then. Actors aren’t obligated to be all that plugged in to the specifics of the things they’re working on, and actors that are more associated with non-gaming projects tend to seem completely unplugged. Kevin Conroy completely forgetting what he was and wasn’t supposed to say about the Batman Arkham games is a good example, or Bruce Campbell very clearly not knowing anything about the upcoming Evil Dead game (that, outside of him, we have no confirmation even exists). For all of us, it was heartbreaking — for Reedus, it was just another job that lead into a huge project that’s almost completely unrelated.
Death Stranding releases in just two days on November 8th on PS4, and summer of next year on PC.